As I sit here, just off the coast of Maine, I see politicians, minions, reporters and spin-doctors scurrying around the state of New Hampshire, kissing babies, shaking hands, eating lobster rolls and pancakes, and generally tying up traffic. Having already asked questions of the republicans, I now set my sights on the democrats, and a little bit more seriously (and not in verse, sorry).
I’ve seen the various attempts at representing the atheists of Iowa, and how safely republicans can simply disregard the heathen questioner, appeal to their religious base, and turn the question into a money-making campaign mailing. So, frankly, there is no reason to waste time asking the GOP candidates, and very little reason asking any candidate in Iowa. But New Hampshire is considerably different. New Hampshire has significantly more self-identified atheists, and fewer self-identified evangelicals. So, my question, framed in rough-hewn New Hampshire granite, is this:
New Hampshire is the home of Robert Frost, who wrote “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…” Over the past years, and over the past months of the GOP campaign, the wall of separation between church and state has been under attack, by those who would give their own religious views a privileged place in our government.
In New Hampshire, we know the value of that wall; we know that both church and state are protected when that wall is strong. I ask the candidates: as president, what will you do to protect that wall?
Your turn. What questions would you ask of the candidates? Or do you just want them to shut up and go away already? (I do know that if I don’t utterly wear out the mute button on my television, I will consider it a modern miracle.)